A GUEST POST BY KAREN LYNN of www.coachkarenlynn.com
Nearly all of us have rituals we engage in, though we may not even be aware of them. Some are positive, such as saying a prayer before going to bed or putting sunscreen on in the morning. Others are negative, such as lighting a cigarette (which most are not proud of) as soon as you leave work and get in your car. By creating rituals that focus on empowerment, health, and wellness, they can help you improve your life by eliminating stress and growing focus.
You may feel that you are so busy with your day to day life, balancing work, home, and family obligations, that you don’t have time to devote to empowerment and focus rituals. It’s okay for you to take time for yourself, though. By caring for your emotional and physical health, you will be able to care more about others. Also, engaging in morning and evening rituals thatallow you to see the world more calmly helps you to tackle your day more effectively and efficiently.
If you feel guilty for practicing self-care to reduce your stress levels, take a few moments to journal how you feel by creating a list of your emotions. The more you are honest with yourself, the more emotions of guilt you’ll release onto the paper. Always remember that you deserve to be cared for, it’s ok to not always be the caretaker. The caretaker is only good to help others when she herself is cared for as well.
Morning Rituals to Focus and Energize
Indulge in Quiet
Set your alarm for 15-20 minutes before you normally wake up. Use the time to sit in your favorite spot and enjoy peace and quiet. Fix a cup of coffee or herbal tea to sip while you enjoy the stillness. Sit outside on your porch, if you prefer. However, don’t use this time to play on Facebook, don’t watch the news. This time is for you to wake up slowly and appreciate quiet moments before your day begins.
Plan Your Big Three
When you write your daily plan, don’t overload your day with an insurmountable list of huge tasks. You’ll be stressed out before the day begins and disappointed when you can’t do it all. Choose just three large or meaningful tasks to complete each day. You will likely get the same amount done as writing your long list, only this way, you won’t be thinking about what you didn’t get done. You will feel less stressed and more accomplished, and you will end up getting the same or more done in the day!
Each morning, drink 16 ounces of water to get a great start for your day. Dehydration causes fatigue, headaches, and overeating, which is a terrible combination when you already have a busy day ahead of you. Drinking water helps give you natural energy and wakes up your metabolism, so it’s a great ritual to begin!
Evening Rituals to Remove Stress and Encourage Calming
Take a 15-Minute Walk
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, exercise can be as beneficial as prescription treatment. Taking a walk each evening is an excellent way to improve your physical health and your emotional state. While a short walk may not seem like it would be effective, it’s a great way to clear your mind, encourage deep breathing, and help you decompress before bed.
Reflect on Your Day
In the evening, when all is said and done, take a few minutes and reflect on your day. What made it positive? What challenges did you face? This is a great way to see what worked for you and what you can do differently tomorrow. Instead of beating yourself up for a mistake or for forgetting something, take time to forgive yourself, and learn what you can do to make tomorrow better!
Indulge in Quiet
Just like in the morning, indulging in quiet time is a great ritual for the evening. Instead of using the time to wake up and get your day started, this time, take slow deep breaths and focus on calming down. All of the noise of the day - your cell phone, traffic, conversation, etc, can wear on your mind, and the 15 minutes of quiet right before bed allows you to be in a calm place to help you sleep.
Creator of the "From Frazzled to Fabulous" program, Karen is an expert in holistic health and life transformation, helping hundreds of busy women find health, balance and a life of their own design. She is a certified Holistic Health Coach (Institute of Integrative Nutrition), Life Coach (The Life Coach Institute), Transformational Life Coach (Holistic MBA) and an aromatherapist, and uses the knowledge gained as well as her unique insights to mentor heart-centered women through her various online programs. In a world where a woman’s success is measured by her home and career, "From Frazzled to Fabulous" is becoming a philosophy that simply makes sense and Karen is there to guide you through it.
If you’d like to learn more useful wellness tips, please visit www.coachkarenlynn.com.